Spicy and Sour Soup with Prawns (Tom Yum Goong)




This soup is quite easy to make, and is very flavorful.  If you use canned chicken stock, be careful with the amount of fish sauce that you add, since the canned stuff is often quite salty.

Chef Chai pointed out in class that he likes to pre-cook the shrimp to avoid overcooking them.  Just bring some water to a boil, and add your shrimp.  When the shrimp turns pink (within a few seconds), remove them from the water.  Then, add them to your soup pot at the very end to warm them up.  This prevents the shrimp from getting tough and overcooked.

Spicy and Sour Soup with Prawns
(Tom Yum Goong)

(Serves 4)
4 1/4 cups chicken stock
1 lemongrass stalk, slightly pounded and cut into 1-inch pieces
5 slices galangal (1-inch in diameter)
8 kaffir lime leaves, center stem removed
1 cup fresh mushrooms, button or cremini, quartered
1 large tomato, cut into 8 wedges
4 jumbo prawns, peeled and deveined
4 tablespoons fish sauce (Asile 13)
5 tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed
2 tablespoons roasted chili jam (nam prik phao; recipe coming soon or use Thai chili in oil) (Aisle 13)
2-4 Thai bird chilies, or to taste, lightly crushed
8 cilantro sprigs

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  1. In a pot, combine chicken stock, lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves; bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer for a few minutes.
  2. Add mushrooms and tomatoes, return to boil and add prawns; cook for 1-2 minutes, turn off heat immediately. Stir in the fish sauce, lime juice, roasted chili jam, chilies and cilantro sprigs. Serve immediately.

Note: For extra aroma, add some coarsely chopped sawtooth leaves (if you can find them) along with the cilantro sprigs right before serving. Sawtooth leaves are available at Talin Market, and are also called “Culantro” in Spanish or “Ngo Gai” in Vietnamese. For extra richness, you can also add 1/4 cup of half and half or evaporated milk before serving.

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